35mm Film Guide.

I get many emails asking about the differences between certain brands of film, film speeds and which are better for which cameras but to be honest – the origins of 35mm consumer film are, to me, in murky waters. Color film production have ceased in several companies and although most brands are still for sale in the market, there has been a lot of re-branding going on so there’s no sure way of knowing what film I’m shooting with.

Having said that, I still think that a film guide would be useful for any other analogue enthusiast; every time before I try a new film, I like to check out samples on Flickr and blogs. Following my film camera guide, I do believe that a 35mm film guide is in order just so anyone who has half the mind to get into film photography has a clearer picture of what to expect. A few things to note about this guide:

1. This is by no means a professional guide.
I am an analog enthusiast, I do it for fun. I do not develop my own film and have absolutely no knowledge on how to do that. My films are sent to a local photo lab and basically, I just take whatever that’s given back to me. My thoughts and opinions of each film are based on how my photographs turn out under the professional processing skills of the lab people.

2. This is a guide based on preferences, not professional results.
Following the first point, there will be no discussion on how great the range of a particular film is, no talks about push or pull processing, no insistence on how grainless images are “the best”. As a film photography enthusiast, how good a film easily translates to how right it is for my needs.

3. Like I mentioned earlier, there is a lot of rebranding going on in different markets around the world so there is no sure way of knowing what film I’m shooting with.
One prime example: Lomography does not produce their own film so they basically rebrand other film stock to sell as their own. The origins of Lomography film is a topic widely discussed on the Internet but generally inconclusive since it differs over time. Hence, all thoughts and opinions expressed here point back to what I’m being told on the film package box, not what they “actually are”. I will, however, try my best to include information where I can.

4. Film performance is not always constant, depending on type of camera, lens, settings and weather.
The results I have garnered are produced with the cameras I own, without flash, and may only act as a general gauge. I have picked a number of pictures that I personally feel are representative of the results I have had with each film.

5. All films on this list have been used at least twice on different occasions. 
Generally, I find it hard to characterize any film that I’ve shot with only once. There is no way to know for sure if anything that turned out was not by accident so I’ve made it a point to only include films that I’ve shot at least two rolls of.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive compensation that will go into helping me run this site. 

The films, in alphabetical order:

adoxoutdoor

Name: Adox Color Implosion (for international dealers, please click here
Tones: range from yellow to red to green to blue, pre-treated for unpredictability and irregularity – blue happens the most often and reds are bright and saturated
Personal best results when used: absolutely anywhere so that you can see a bunch of different results

adoxindoor

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afga200outdoors

Name: Agfa Vista Plus 200 (markings along the negatives are the same Fujifilm) (click to buy on Amazon)
Tones: blue/green, washed-out red
Personal best results when used: in overcast daylight or indoors with specific light source (not necessarily natural light)

afga200indoors

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afga400outdoors1

Name: Agfa Vista Plus 400 (markings along the negatives are the same Fujifilm) (click to buy on Amazon)
Tones: strong reds with undertones of yellow, medium to high contrast
Personal best results when used: in bright daylight with fast shutter speed (at least f/8)

afga400indoors1

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agfacolor200outdoor

Name: Agfacolor 200 (expired, original Agfa film made in Germany) 
Tones: bluish with undertones of yellow, low to medium contrast
Personal best results when used: indoors/under shade with lots of natural light (this film reminds me a lot of Solaris 100/200)

agfacolor200indoor

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agfacolorprooutdoor

Name: Agfacolor Pro 200 (expired)
Tones: slight blue-green undertones; purple tinge and orange burns in expired effects, underexposes easily
Personal best results when used: indoors with plenty of natural light and a slow shutter speed

agfacolorproindoor

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efiniti200outdoors

Name: Efiniti UXi Super 200 (markings along the negatives are the same as Agfa Vista Plus 200, which is probably rebranded Fujifilm emulsion)
Tones: blue with strong undertones of green
Personal best results when used: in overcast daylight or indoors with plenty of natural light

efiniti200indoors

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solaris100outdoor

Name: Ferrania Solaris 100
Tones: slight blue tones, muted contrast, generally true to life
Personal best results when used: in overcast daylight or fast shutter speed in bright sunlight

solaris100indoors

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solaris200outdoors

Name: Ferrania Solaris 200
Tones: pastel hues with muted reds and yellows, generally true to life
Personal best results when used: in daylight or indoors with plenty of natural light

solaris200indoor

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solaris400outdoors

Name: Ferrania Solaris 400 (expired)
Tones: slightly red in daylight but generally true to life, no apparent expired effects
Personal best results when used: with toy cameras for strong contrast

solaris400indoors

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sensiaoutdoor

Name: Fujichrome Sensia 100 (expired and cross-processed)
Tones: generally bright purples and reds with occasional cyans and oranges
Personal best results when used: outdoor in harsh light with SLRs for dramatic results, avoid indoors with artificial light

sensiaindoor

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fujicolor100outdoors

Name: Fujicolor 100 (expired) (click to buy on Amazon)
Tones: soft white-washed with hints of slight overexposure, no apparent expired effects
Personal best results when used: in soft daylight with SLRs

fujicolor100indoors

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fujiindustrialoutdoor

Name: Fujicolor Industrial 100 (業務記錄用)
Tones: medium contrast, true to life tones, reds are a little dramatic
Personal best results when used: basically all circumstances, renders light beautifully even with little light source

fujiindustrialindoor

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pro160soutdoor

Name: Fujicolor Pro 160s (expired)
Tones: muted contrast with relatively true to life tones, underexposes easily due to expiration
Personal best results when used: outdoors under shade or indoors with plenty of natural light

pro160sindoor

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pro400houtdoor

Name: Fujicolor Pro 400H (click to buy on Amazon)
Tones: true to life tones with obvious blue tinges, vivid colors with low contrast
Personal best results when used: indoors with plenty of natural light

pro400hindoors

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realaoutdoor

Name: Fujicolor Superia Reala 100 (expired) (click to buy on Amazon)
Tones: extremely true to life tones even in artificial lighting, no apparent expired effects
Personal best results when used: outdoors in overcast/fading daylight or indoors with plenty of natural light

realaindoor

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proplusii100outdoor

Name: Fujifilm PROPLUS II 100 (click to buy on Amazon)
Tones: true to life tones even in artificial lighting, rather vivid reds but moderate contrast overall
Personal best results when used: anywhere, really, performs very well in low-light situations for a low speed film!

proplusii100indoor

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superia200outdoor

Name: Fujifilm Superia 200 (click to buy on Amazon)
Tones: green with tinges of blue
Personal best results when used: indoors with plenty of natural light or white artificial lights

superia200indoor

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superia400outdoor

Name: Fujifilm Superia X-TRA 400 (click to buy on Amazon)
Tones: prone to blue-green with slight yellow hues, muted reds
Personal best results when used: outdoors and indoors with plenty of natural light or white artificial lights

superia400indoor

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ilford100outdoor

Name: Ilford Pan 100 (click to buy on Amazon)
Tones: black and white with high contrast
Personal best results when used: indoors with light source, beautiful smoothness on highlights

ilford100indoor

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kodakcolorplus200outdoor1

Name: Kodak ColorPlus 200 (click to buy on Amazon)
Tones: none in particular, occasional tinges of red or yellow
Personal best results when used: in bright sunlight with slight overexposure or indoors with plenty of natural light

kodakcolorplus200indoor
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ektar100outdoors1

Name: Kodak Ektar 100 (click to buy on Amazon)
Tones: true to life with high contrast
Personal best results when used: in overcast/shaded daylight

ektar100indoor

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gold100outdoor

Name: Kodak Gold 100 (expired)
Tones: slight yellow hues; low, muted contrast in daylight, reacts well to artificial lighting; slight purple tinge in expired effects
Personal best results when used: in daylight with fast shutter speed or indoors with light source (contrast goes up)

gold100indoor

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gold200outdoor

Name: Kodak Gold 200 (click to buy on Amazon)
Tones: generally high contrast but not quite true to life, over-saturation occurs easily especially with little light
Personal best results when used: in shaded outdoors or indoors with plenty of sunlight

gold200indoor

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portra160outdoor

Name: Kodak Portra 160 (click to buy on Amazon)
Tones: true to life (especially so for skin tones) with medium muted contrast under plenty of sunlight
Personal best results when used: on all occasions except indoors with little natural light (very much an outdoor/daylight film)

portra160indoor1

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portra400outdoor

Name: Kodak Portra 400 (click to buy on Amazon)
Tones: generally true to life with rather high contrast
Personal best results when used: outdoors with sunlight or indoors with white artificial lights (I need to use this again – on portraits – to be sure but I think the medium-format version of this film produces far superior results than the 35mm version)

portra400indoor

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proimage100outdoor

Name: Kodak Pro Image 100
Tones: moderate contrast with blue tinges
Personal best results when used: indoors with plenty of natural light, the low speed renders natural light beautifully but not recommended for indoors with artificial lighting

proimage100indoor
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kodakprofotoxloutdoor1

Name: Kodak ProFoto XL 100
Tones: generally true to life with realistically high contrast
Personal best results when used: indoors with plenty of natural light, overexposes rather easily when used outdoors (unless under shade)

kodakcolorplus200indoor1

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kodaksupraoutdoor

Name: Kodak Professional Supra 400 (expired)
Tones: slight red undertones with extremely high contrast, especially when slightly overexposed
Personal best results when used: outdoors in daylight and overexposed – love the dramatic colors! (If you manage to get any of this film that was discontinued in 2003, they are bound to be expired and will perform terribly indoors with little light source or a fast shutter because of the expiration)

kodaksupraindoor

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ultramax400outdoor

Name: Kodak UltraMax 400 (click to buy on Amazon)
Tones: true to life with high contrast
Personal best results when used: on all occasions, very reliable and reacts well to artificial lighting, suitable for toy cameras

ultramax400indoor

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centuria400outdoor

Name: Konica Centuria Super 400 (expired)
Tones: generally high contrast with slight blue/green undertones, punchy vintage tones when expired
Personal best results when used: outdoors in bright sunlight exposed accurately or indoors with light at very slow speed to overexpose

centuria400indoor

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lomo100outdoor

Name: Lomography CN 100 (click to buy on Amazon)
Tones: generally true to life with medium to high contrast, over-saturation occurs easily when lack of light
Personal best results when used: outdoors with plenty of sunlight (very much an outdoor/daylight film)

lomo100indoor

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lomo400outdoor

Name: Lomography CN 400 (click to buy on Amazon)
Tones: true to life with high contrast
Personal best results when used: outdoors with fast shutter speed or indoors with plenty of natural light, suitable for toy cameras

lomo400indoor

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lomo800outdoor

Name: Lomography CN 800 (click to buy on Amazon)
Tones: blue-grey hues over muted medium contrast
Personal best results when used: outdoors with a toy camera

lomo800indoor

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ladygreyoutdoor

Name: Lomography Lady Grey B&W 400 (click to buy on Amazon)
Tones: black and white with high contrast
Personal best results when used: on all occasions (don’t think too much with black and white film!)

ladygreyindoors

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redscalexroutdoor

Name: Lomography Redscale XR 50-200 (click to buy on Amazon)
Tones: varying degrees of contrast in yellow, orange, red, green and blue hues
Personal best results when used: with slow shutter speeds for extremely blue tones (I’ll need to try this again to confirm method)

redscalexrindoor

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chrome100outdoors

Name: Lomography X-Pro Chrome 100
Tones: generally blue with hight contrast and saturation
Personal best results when used: crossed-processed, indoors with plenty of sunlight, suitable for toy cameras but over/underexposes easily

chrome100indoor

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lucky100outdoors

Name: Lucky Super 100
Tones: slight yellow undertones, pastel hues with low to medium contrast
Personal best results when used: in overcast daylight or indoors with plenty of light (not necessarily natural light)

lucky100indoors

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lucky200outdoor

Name: Lucky Super 200
Tones: slight blue hues, medium to high contrast, over-saturation occurs easily with little light
Personal best results when used: in bright daylight, suitable for toy cameras

lucky200indoor

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solutionvx200outdoor

Name: Solution VX 200 (both fresh and expired)
Tones: very true-to-life with slightly muted contrast, magenta tones when expired
Personal best results when used: fresh film preferred outdoors in daylight, expired film preferred indoors with plenty of sunlight

solutionvx200indoor

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tudorxlxoutdoor

Name: Tudor XLX 200 (expired, allegedly rebranded Fujicolor C200) (click to buy on Amazon)
Tones: blue-green undertones, muted reds, muted contrast
Personal best results when used: indoors with plenty of sunlight produce rather true to life tones that I enjoy

tudorxlxindoor

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I hope this guide helped! It will continue to be updated as I experiment with different films. Please don’t hesitate to leave a comment or email me if I’ve made any factual mistake or if you have any further questions. Shoot film!

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115 comments on “35mm Film Guide.

  1. Hi ! I found your blog a few days ago and really like your pictures, and this guide is amazing, it helped me a lot to find new films ! I wonder if you know which film should i use to have a very grainy photos with saturated colors ?
    Thank you so much !!

    1. Hi Romane,

      ISO 800 films are naturally grainier than the slower speed films. Also, any film that is very expired will produce more grains than usual, hope this helps!

  2. hi Katie! accidentally saw this blog and I really loved it!

    I just bought a film camera plus some film rolls, cant wait to see my rolls are being developed! yeay \o/

    anyway I have a question, actually this had been on my mind for some time, hopefully you could help and give me some advices

    how do you keep or storing your film rolls? I read somewhere that it should be kept in the fridge or freezer, but I’m afraid that my fridge doesn’t have enough space for the rolls.

    is there any method for keeping my film rolls safe? FYI I live in tropical country which could be very humid during the days

    thank you and hopefully you could reply my comment here :)

    1. Hi Naa! Thank you for your dropping by. I do keep most of my film in the fridge (drawer department where one usually keeps the vegetables and fruits). However, I also have a bunch of film – fresh ones, not expired – kept at room temperature in my work space. It gets super hot in Taiwan during the summer, too, but to be honest film has to be kept at undesirable environments for YEARS before they go so bad they are not usable.

      I would say don’t worry too much and keep shooting film! If you use them quick enough you should never have a problem with storage, hope this helps!

  3. I enjoyed this guide very much! It was incredibly helpful to have images of indoor and outdoor as well as your descriptions about the film below! I just received some Kodak gold film that Im super stoked to try. I think I’m going to try some tomography purple, as well as adox color. Again, thank you!

  4. Hello, I’ve never randomly left a comment anywhere before, but just wanted to say thank you so much for putting this together! As someone who wants to get into analogue photography but have no idea what type of “look” different films produce, I found this very, very helpful!

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